David Peralta ARI – buy low
Peralta has put up great numbers this season but doesn’t get much hype in fantasy due to the fact that he sits a lot of the time against left-handed pitching. However, his dominance against right-handers makes him a worthy fantasy asset in leagues that are deep enough to warrant playing a guy in a semi-platoon. Peralta’s overall slash line of .319/.366/.469 in 344 at-bats is very solid, and his average jumps to .325 against righties. He’s hitting .394 over his last 9 games and has 6 lefties on the schedule this week, which means he will be in the lineup and in a good position to continue his current hot streak. Give Peralta a look, especially if you need outfield help in the short term.
Zack Cozart CIN – sell high
Out of nowhere, Cozart has put up a monster season in Cincinnati. His current slash line of .319/.406/.564 puts him among the top shortstops in 2017, which makes him even more valuable given the scarcity of the position. However, when you look at his peripheral numbers, you see that Cozart hasn’t really changed from the player who has slashed .254/.302/.404, rather he’s just been much more fortunate. His fly-ball and hard-hit rates are almost identical to what they were last season and his average exit velocity is just 85.2 MPH, which is well below average and makes his .353 BABIP seem quite unsustainable. He’s also a candidate to get traded at the deadline, and it’s unclear what effect that would have on his value. Moving Cozart now before what seems like an inevitable downturn is the smart move.
Danny Salazar CLE – buy low
Salazar returned from the DL on Saturday for his first start in over 6 weeks, and it was a stellar one. He pitched 7 scoreless, 1-hit frames in a no decision, striking out 8 and walking none. It was the first good sign for Salazar in some time, and now the question has to be: can he keep this up? His ERA still sits at 4.79 and his injury issues have been well documented, so it would seem that cautious optimism is the best practice with Salazar at this moment. On the injury front, Salazar is actually a low injury risk with an above average Health Performance Factor according to Inside Injuries, which is a highly encouraging bit of information in what is probably the most important piece of this puzzle. On the performance side, Salazar’s xFIP of 3.38 indicated that he has pitched much better than his 4.79 ERA shows. His 12.34 K/9 is stellar and should allow him to post more starts like Saturday’s than what he’s produced so far this season. If Salazar’s owner is still wary of him after just one start off the DL, then try and make a move for him. Making a bold move for what could turn out to be a high-end starter now could help you win your league.
Chris Taylor LAD – sell high
Taylor has been one of the best stories of the Dodgers’ magical season so far. His slash line of .312/.382/.535 and wRC+ of 143 put him among the best hitters in the game so far this season. Taylor’s career numbers, however, are that of an average player (.272/.335/.421), so what gives? Well, Taylor has an incredibly high .415 BABIP that can’t be fully explained by a small uptick in hard-hit %. He’s also hitting the ball on the ground at a rate higher than his career average, which indicates that he’s been very fortunate at the plate this season. There’s nothing wrong with riding out a hot bat when they come around, but is there anywhere to go but down for Taylor the rest of the way this season? The answer is probably no. You’ve gotten more out of him than you ever could have expected as a late round pick or waiver wire pickup, so flipping him now for something of solid value makes sense.
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